Reaction to the controversial vote…

“I’ve been urging the State Senate to stand up and be counted on an issue of importance to me and millions of other New Yorkers: marriage equality. Although I’m deeply disappointed with today’s result, and know that the sense of anguish and frustration is even more pronounced among gay and lesbian New Yorkers, at least we now know where individual legislators stand. And so now, we begin a new effort to secure the additional votes needed to pass this bill. I want to thank the leaders of the State Senate finally bringing this bill to the floor for a vote and I applaud the 24 senators who courageously and compassionately voted ‘yes.’ Historic change does not come easily, but this vote was a crucial step that, I believe, will ultimately lead the State to extend full marriage rights to all couples.”

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg

"I firmly believe that my vote against the Marriage Equality legislation reflects the wishes of the vast majority of my constituents. With that being said, I also firmly believe that any decision on Marriage Equality should, ultimately, be made by the people of New York State, not the Legislature. I would fully support a referendum to allow the people of New York State to decide the issue."

Queens State Senator Shirley Huntley

“Even as the New York State Senate rejected legislation that would extend marriage equality to all New Yorkers, we witnessed the courage of Senators who stood up for the families of this state. During the debate, a number of visionary lawmakers spoke forcefully to make marriage accessible to all. But it is unconscionable that, in 2009, the majority of the NYS Senators cannot muster the will to support committed, same-sex couples seeking to establish families with the legal rights, protections, benefits and responsibilities now extended to married, opposite-sex couples under state law.”

Family Planning Advocates of New York State President and CEO

M. Tracey Brooks

“The left-wing Huffington Post had a headline earlier today that was classic. It read, ‘START SPREADING THE NEWS: New York Debating Historic Gay Marriage Measure, Vote to be Razor Thin.’ Now that those who sought to reinvent the institution of marriage got clobbered, the Catholic League will be only too happy to START SPREADING THE NEWS. Kudos to New York State Senator Reuben Diaz and all the other good men and women who resisted this illegitimate push to treat marriage and the family as if they were merely items on a moral smorgasbord of lifestyle choices.”

Catholic League President Bill Donohue

“Today’s defeat of the same sex marriage bill in the New York State Senate is deeply disappointing. We have lost an important opportunity to finally bring true equality under the law to all New Yorkers. The State Bar has long supported equal rights for same-sex couples. With strong leadership from Governor Paterson, the Assembly and a core group of Senators, we will continue to work hard to ensure passage of legislation that will afford tens of thousands of gay New Yorkers the same protections, responsibilities and dignity that married heterosexual couples have long enjoyed.”

New York State Bar Association President Michael E. Getnick

“It’s encouraging to see that there is still a modicum of sanity and common sense in our State Legislature…Though we are relieved that the institution of marriage is preserved for another season, it was disconcerting to observe the level of ignorance demonstrated in New York’s ‘Upper’ house. It becomes apparent why New York was rated the most dysfunctional state government.”

Reverend Bill Banuchi, Marriage & Family Savers Ministries

“I’d like to thank Senators Smith and Stavisky for being on the right side of history today. However, Senators Addabbo, Huntley, Monserrate, Onorato and Padavan sent a deeply troubling message today that members of the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender communities are second-class citizens. Their votes underscore the need to elect more progressive and open-minded senators in Queens.”

Queens Councilmember-elect Danny Dromm

“I deeply respect the views of the gay and lesbian community on same-sex marriage, although they are not my own, and I have appreciated the candid and almost universally respectful dialogue we have had on this issue. Over the years, I have voted in favor of the Sexual Orientation Non-Discrimination Act (SONDA), the hate crimes law, and other legislation of importance to the LGBT community, and I continue to support the Dignity for All Students Act and the Gender Identification Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA). But on same-sex marriage, we must continue to agree to disagree.”

Queens State Senator George Onorato


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